You put in hard work at the gym, and you want to see results. We all do! There are few things more frustrating than crushing your workouts day after day only to see your progress plateau.
Exercise is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Achieving optimum performance from your body requires a comprehensive approach that includes workout fuel and physical exertion.
To that end, here are 5 ways to fuel your workout both inside and outside the gym.
Fill up with premium workout fuel
All elite athletes know that food is fuel. If you want to see gains in the gym, be discerning about what you put in your body.
Fill up on nutrient-dense foods that give you the biggest bang for your buck: whole grains, fruits and vegetables, healthy fats (like nuts, avocados, and olive oil), and protein.
Stay away from excess sugar, salt, and trans fats. It’s okay to treat yourself now and then, but cookies and other junk snacks shouldn’t be a part of your everyday diet.
A healthy diet also includes adequate hydration — and that means drinking water, not soda or juice. While some people stick to the 8×8 model (8 8-oz glasses of water per day), everybody is different. For most healthy people, 4-6 glasses a day is sufficient, especially if you’re already eating foods that are water-rich, such as salad and fruits.
Lastly, make sure you eat enough. If you’re trying to build muscle, you need extra workout fuel!
Whether you have a tendency to over- or undereat, a diet tracker like MyFitnessPal can help you keep your calorie intake in check.
Eat plenty of protein
Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of our body, and are vital workout fuel for muscle growth. Eating enough protein gives your body a positive nitrogen balance, putting you in an anabolic state, which allows you to build muscle.
Conversely, a negative nitrogen balance puts you in a catabolic state, which means your body is actually breaking down all that hard-earned muscle for energy!
To ensure you get enough protein throughout the day without a surplus of calories, shoot for 30-40 grams at each meal. Eggs, meat, fish, milk and soy are all good sources.
Keep in mind that it’s not just what you eat, but when: It’s ideal to ingest lean protein along with some complex carbohydrates (such as whole grains and vegetables) about two hours before exercising.
And post-workout protein is critical. Depending on your body weight, you should aim for 20-50 grams of protein within an hour after an intense workout. (That’s why you see so many athletes pounding protein shakes as they walk out of the gym.) THRIVE FIT BUILD, designed for your daily pre-, during-, and post-workout needs, has over 25 grams of premium grade whey and casein protein isolates that helps support that lean muscle mass you’re working for.
Exercise your heart
In addition to building muscle, it’s important to include aerobic exercise into your routine. It helps keep your blood pressure in check, improves your good and bad cholesterol levels, and increases insulin sensitivity.
Cardiovascular exercise also increases your body’s natural ability to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a molecule that causes vasodilation — a relaxing of the inner muscles of the blood vessels, which causes them to widen and increase circulation.
This is important because it allows blood, nutrients, and oxygen to reach every part of your body efficiently. THRIVE FIT CIRCULATE is great for your pre-workout or daily endurance needs. It helps elevate nitric oxide levels and provides increased cardiovascular support.
Take time to recover
The human body is amazing: When it experiences stress, it starts a biological process that allows it to deal with and recover from that stress, then adapt so it is better prepared to handle that stressor in the future.
That’s why recovery is a crucial part of a healthy fitness routine. The stress of lifting weights causes your muscle tissue to tear and break down. It’s when you stop lifting that your body repairs them, making them stronger than they were before.
So go ahead and take days off from the gym! Or at least alternate muscle groups each day (work upper body one day, lower body the next) to give those muscles a chance to recover. Additionally, you should think of workout fuel before, during and AFTER your workout. THRIVE FIT RECOVER can help support your metabolic recovery with a specially engineered blend of protein-to-carbohydrates ratio that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Get some rest
We’re all busy these days — sometimes too busy, which means something has to give. And usually that thing is sleep.
Sometimes it’s inevitable (like when your child gets sick at 3 a.m.), but many times we miss out on essential sleep for no good reason at all, choosing instead to watch the next episode of our favorite TV show or scrolling through Instagram.
Make sleep a priority, just as you do with exercise.
Shoot for at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Set a regular bedtime and stick to it as much as possible, and sleep in a cool, dark room. Avoiding caffeine late in the day and screen-time before bed will help.
Following these guidelines will help you improve your overall health — and get more out of your time at the gym. We’re now introducing the first three products from the THRIVE FIT product line: THRIVE FIT BUILD, RECOVER and CIRCULATE. Add THRIVE FIT to your fitness routine to boost your performance even more!